Jeremiah 27–31: Exile & Restoration

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 18: Friday

Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the
prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the LORD has not
sent you, and you have made this people trust in a
lie. Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am
about to remove you from the face of the earth.
This year you are going to die, because you have
counseled rebellion against the LORD.’”

So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year in the seventh month.
Jeremiah 28:15–17

Friday’s Bible reading of Jeremiah 27–31, takes us into the reign of Zedekiah as king of Judah. Remember, Jeremiah began to prophesy during the final days of Judah, but Judah’s continued rebellion led to God’s judgment of the nation, and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Judah in 605 BC. Judah’s king, Jehoiachin, his household, captains, officials, craftsmen and smiths were deported in 597 BC. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king in place of Jehoiachin, but his rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar led to the burning of Jerusalem in 587 BC, and those remaining were taken captive into Babylon. (cf. 2 Kings 24–25).1

These chapters contain Jeremiah’s warning given to Zedekiah to not rebel against Nebuchadnezzar, but to serve him. From the context you can tell these events took place after the deportation in 597 BC, and before the burning of Jerusalem. Hananiah was a false prophet who told Judah that within two years God would break the yoke of Babylon and bring Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, back from Babylon (Jehoiakim was killed in Jeremiah 26:23). Because he made Judah trust in this lie, Hananiah dies at the end of chapter 28.

In chapter 29, the Lord instructs Jeremiah to send a letter to the exiles in Babylon telling them to build houses, marry and have children, and seek the welfare of Babylon because they will be there for 70 years, and then God will bring them back. Shemaiah the Nehelamite is another false prophet who sends out his own letter contradicting Jeremiah. At the end of this chapter, Jeremiah pronounces God’s judgment on Shemaiah and his house.

In chapters 30–31, God speaks of His restoration of Israel and Judah. In Jeremiah 31:31–34, we have God’s wonderful promise of His new covenant:

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 31:31–34

How will this new covenant be made?

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
Luke 22:20

Read Hebrews 8:7–13, and continue on into Hebrews 9.

“For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.“
Hebrews 9:15

And in this new covenant Gentiles who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus will no longer be aliens and strangers, but also members of God’s household.

_________
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1J. G. Baldwin, “The History of Israel,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised,
D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 24.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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